10 years ago this year I started dating my Turk in August and 6 years ago in August we were married and 5 years ago our son was born in August. Bit of a special month! You might remember that I didn’t take to him at first but through his determined stubborn personality he managed to win me over in the end!
The biggest lesson I have learned over the 10 years is a relationship is a relationship, you are not with a Turk but with a man or even a lady. You are in a relationship with an individual, a unique person. Not a person defined by stereotype, race or religion. A person with thoughts, dreams and wants all of their own. A person with a heart that breaks just as easily as your own.
It hasn’t been an easy 10 years. Someone said to me recently that we seem so happy and have made it all work. It is true that we are happy together. But we have had our arguments and heartbreaks over the years, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. We have grown stronger each time and learned to overcome or differences.
Some of this has stemmed from culture and some of it has just been a clash of two very strong personalities. If you know us personally you will know we are both very stubborn individuals and I really pity the woman that marries my Son because he 2 x stubborn!
I mentioned the culture, yes at times culture has caused us some headaches, me with my more free minded thoughts and him with his ‘you can’t wear that, or do that button up” pfffft…..
At times we have clashed over ideas and thoughts on matters which have been defined by our cultures. One that always comes to mind, is watching a film that the leading lady is dating another man, but falls for the other.
From my standpoint, it’s a romance, that she found her true love, she didn’t mean to hurt the other but love will out. Hubby on the other hand sees her as a loose woman, and someone who can’t be trusted. Perhaps this is more a fear than culture but his life has moulded him and created the filters which he sees life and this has created a good few arguments over the years.
The In Laws have always been a point of difficulty for us, him being a typical Mummy’s boy and having a very demanding family who have caused many problems throughout the years and despite him being the youngest all the issues and problems that the family create lands on his shoulder. I with my point of view and filters have pushed back where he in a stereotypical Turkish way crumbles and does as is requested. I will even admit that on occasion the family have caused a large divide between as pushed us right to the edge. You would think over years I would become wiser but they don’t have push my buttons!
“We married for Love” is often quoted to me from my husband when we are at loggerheads together. He say’s this because all of the members of his family apart from himself and a younger niece have had arranged marriages, including two of the younger boys most recently. He choose to marry for love and look for love and not just marry some girl found from the family. (I think some days he thinks that might have been easier! 😉 )
Becoming parents has been a fairly painless tranisition for us, we both have the same wishes and thoughts on how to raise our Son (or perhaps he just knows better!) However it took a few years for my husband to become a little more hands on, in fact probably not till the nappies came off! I don’t think I remember him doing a nappy change, perhaps once or twice because he had to. And still he is more the fun time person, yet he is a wonderful Dad and a great teacher to our Son and he will spend hours doing silly things with him. Which in turn gives me some downtime. From speaking with other Mothers it appears to be the way of Turkish men.
Never expect much of your Turkish Man and housework, some Mothers have raised their men to be able to look after themselves, cook, clean, iron etc. But most have raised them as little Pasha’s and just wait till you go back to Mummy’s house, all your hard work training them to pick up after themselves or make their own tea, comes undone as Anne clucks over her soon, makes him his favourite foods and all but washes his feet (and some do!)
The hardest thing my husband has struggled with since I move back to the UK is having to do the housework and cook for himself. I look at it as learning curve and something he will be grateful for in the years to come to learn how to be self sufficent. Though he sees at as being abandoned at the moment!
“We married for Love” is often quoted to me from my husband when we are at loggerheads together. He say’s this because all of the members of his family apart from himself and a younger niece have had arranged marriages, including two of the younger boys most recently. He choose to marry for love and look for love and not just marry some girl found from the family. (I think some days he thinks that might have been easier! 😉 ) I will be forever grateful for that.
The past 10 years have taught me that no matter the problem it can be resolved that marriage and relationships are always a work in progress. As people we are always changing and the people around us influnece and change us as well. Our ideas and points of view change or grow. Marriages keep changing as well, through the first flushes of marriage, to having kids and becoming parents and finding the balance of being parents, partners and lovers.
It’s been a journey of many up’s and down’s but isn’t that just part of life?
Thank you to you all for reading and following my life over the past 5 years of me writing this blog and sharing my life with you all. Some of you have become friends, some of you have shared important moments of your life with me, some have shared their heartbreak with me and others I have had the privilege of sharing your own journey through your relationships. So many of you have touched my life in many ways I am forever grateful to you all.
© 2016, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.